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Manchester talent manager and PR consultant: Prince Harry press team “irresponsible”

Spare, Random House/Twitter

A Manchester PR, talent manager and consultant has accused Prince Harry’s PR team of behaving “irresponsibly” as his eagerly anticipated memoir, Spare launches today.

Carla Speight, who also offers photography, marketing and events services though her consultancy, has a portfolio of high-profile clients including comic Jason Manford, The Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder and The Social Chain’s Dominic McGregor.

As Harry’s ITN interview, which peaked at 4.6m viewers on Sunday night, and today’s publication of his book continue to dominate the headlines — a situation that is unlikely to change just yet with a further two US interviews also in the mix, and an appearance on Colbert yet to come for armchair analysts — Speight said: “Harry’s PR Team, instead of being strategic and cautious, are handling the communication channels quite irresponsibly. Harry is being allowed, and encouraged, to talk about stuff that we’ve never heard before. It just highlights the American-style press and the American-style approach to PR as opposed to the British approach.”

Speight took to Twitter immediately after the interview on Sunday night to praise ITN’s Tom Bradby for his handling of the situation describing his work as “superb.”

Speight’s praise largely ended there, however. Although critical of the “American-style” approach of Harry and Meghan’s team, she went on to note that, while the tactic has done Harry no favours it has also served to shine a spotlight on the old-fashioned stance taken by his brother in the ongoing media spat.

“The Palace press teams need to wake up and realise that this no-comment approach has gone on for too long,” she said. “The accusations William, Catherine, King Charles, and Camilla are facing are incredibly damaging.”

Speight added that Prince William, and his wife Catherine, are endangering the good work they have done to move the royal family into the modern era.

The couple have been widely praised for moves such as joining social media and talking openly about mental health issues, but the staid tactics of their press team are not moving with them, according to the celeb consultant: “They need to override their press team’s outdated ‘no comment’ approach. The accusations are simply too big to ignore,” she explained. “History should have taught the press teams that the ‘no-comment’ approach didn’t work then and won’t work now. The saving grace they had with all those other PR disasters is that they didn’t have the power of social media or cancel culture to contend with. While I personally am a fan of the royal firm, I can’t see their reign or popularity lasting much longer if they continue to refuse to address this PR catastrophe.”

Speight isn’t the first to make doom-laden prophecies regarding the latest round of royal rumblings. Royal analyst Catherine Mayer, whose biography of Prince Charles The Heart of a King was subject to its own media frenzy ahead of publication in 2015, was quoted in The Observer on Sunday describing the latest memoir as “possibly something that will mark the beginning of the end of the monarchy.”

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